July 19th, 2012
07:25 AM ET

Chick-fil-A's gay marriage stance causing a social storm

The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that.

But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.

"Guilty as charged," Cathy said when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.

"We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," Cathy is quoted as saying.

Strong feelings of support and disagreement have followed, making Chick-fil-A the top Google trend on Thursday morning as the company's Facebook and Twitter pages were burning up with arguments.

"Hate mongers! Never again! Not another $ from me," Duke Richards wrote on Facebook.

"Goodbye Chikkk-fil-a! your food was delicious, but I can no longer eat nuggets filled with hate!" read a post by Blake Brown.

Eatocracy: Fast food with a side of faith 

"I am truly ashamed of the recent admittance from Mr Cathy about your bigoted company practices. I hate the fact that my money was used for this. I will never support your company (and) will make sure anyone I know does not either," Mikell Kirbis wrote on Facebook. "While I'm not a Christian I know that hate is not in God's plan nor (is) ignorantly picking sections of the Bible to brandish. Good bye and I hope either you change your ways or close down."

But the support for the company was just as vehement.

"Just wanted to say I'm proud that you stand firm in your beliefs. You knew the risks, and still took the plunge. May God bless this company with abundance. Never back down!" said a Facebook post from David Jones.

"Thank you for standing up for what you believe. The truth is not hate. It's just the truth," wrote Sharon R Boyd.

"I love the values that this restaurant stands for and will support it every dang chance I get! Pay no attention to the morons spewing hate!" read a post from Raymond Joy.

Does religion influence what you buy? Share your view on CNN iReport.

Twitter comments were also divided.

[tweet https://twitter.com/MissMerica/status/225806557227667457%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/danforthfrance/status/225812600171139073%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/TheEvilWesley/status/225760117864402944%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/ChuckyMcDaniel/status/225814099492220928%5D

In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, the company said it would stick by its principles, but it tried to withdraw from the heated social media debate over them.

"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent owner/operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," said a statement from Don Perry, the company's vice president of corporate public relations.

The Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group, said Wednesday that Cathy's comments gave consumers a clear choice.

“It's strange to say, but it's good to see Chick-fil-A finally admit to their anti-LGBT policies," Michael Cole-Schwartz, the organization's director of communications, told CNN. "Now fair-minded consumers can make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company or take their business elsewhere.  As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality.”

Polling shows increasing support for gay marriage in the United States. A CNN/ORC Poll conducted in late May found 54% of respondents favoring the legal recognition of gay marriage with 42% opposed. The poll had a sampling error of 3%.

Let us know what you think about Chick-fil-A's stance in the comments below.

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Chick-fil-A controversy sheds light on restaurant's Christian DNA

soundoff (4,679 Responses)
  1. Listens to Christ's words above the rest of the Bible, they're enough

    Interesting how many Christians never pay attention to Christ’s words. The word Christian means “Christ like”. Christ lived a servant’s life even to death. Christ never condemned an individual. He did beat the hell out of business owners more than once (cleared the temple with a whip). I wonder if that would fall under tort reform. Christ told the religious right to mind their own business (Matt 7:5 and John 8:7) and did not say His followers were exempt from following His words. Only at the judgment seat are you sinless or you would never need to confess your sin. DUH! With 65% of married women and 63% of married men committing adultery during their marriage I would say married Christians have enough to clean up without even starting on the love of money. Give all you have to the poor THEN follow Me but I digress. If people really wanted a defense of marriage act adultery would be against the law but with the representatives leading the pack that will never happen. One thing is for sure- on Sunday morning the churches in America are full of people that THINK they are going to heaven.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • DavidW0909

      Well said!

      July 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim ("Not a Fan")


      July 20, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rooscow

    Thanks for the best reason not to go to Chick-fil-A. With your interpretation of family values you will see your revenue hit a wall and start to decline. It's not that great to begin with.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sammy

      Family Values has been code word for anti-gay ever since Jerry Falwell started the Moral Majority back in the 80's.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Normal

    I am going to eat there more often!

    July 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clara

      I hope you choke on that center grizzle that is in every sandwich. Maybe a cute gay paramedic will save your life.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Deez

    Jesus Christ

    July 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JR

    Why do some people try to get others to agree with their lifestyle. Dan Cathy merely stated that he believes in the traditional values of Christianity and somehow, some people have turned that into hate. Is it hate that gay people don't subscribe to those values, than why is it hate that Cathy doesn't subscribe to the gay values. Gay people no one has to agree with your lifestyle. All that should be expected is that we accept the fact we practice different lifestyles,and to be treated with the respect that everyone deserves. I don't believe and I don't support the gay lifestyle, and I teach my kid that it's a sin, just as lieing, and stealing is a sin. I tell my kid that although we do not subscribe or agree with that lifestyle, that every one of us is God's creation and we are to treat everyone according. People we don't have agree with anything, we just have to be tolerant when we encounter one another. I am a Christian, and when I encounter a Muslim, Jew, Catholic, etc, I treat them with the respect they deserve. I respect that they beleieve in something different and they should respect the fact that I believe on something different. My niece has professed that she likes girls, I don't hate her or treat her different. I told her I love her regardless of her choices but, I don't agree with her choice. Why do you have to have worldwide agreement of your lifestyle, shouldn't acceptance be enough. We accept the fact that we can't change your mind about being gay, so accept the fact that you can't change our minds about being straight or not agreeing to your way of life. Would you ask a Muslim to eat pork because you eat it, no you accept the fact that they practice a different lifestyle. Does the Muslim hate you becuase you eat pork, no they accept that you subscribe to something different. I have nothing against Mulims nor any other faith practiced, I just used the Muslim to try and prove my point becuase Muslims don't eat pork. So please no one take offense becuase it was not meant to offend. Stop trying to conform everyone to your way of thought. As long as when you go to work your treated fairly, or when you go to school, or just when your walking down the street or having a good time out. As long as people treat each other with respect, we don't have to agree with any ones lifestyle.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clara

      It isn't a lifestyle. It is just life. And to gays it is as natural as rain water. Your terminology exposes your deep seated biases.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lightsinger

      No one is trying to convince someone else to be gay. You either are or you are not, there is not a choice. Growing up, as a young girl, I realized that I liked boys. That was it....I didn't have to make a choice because there was no choice to be made. That's how God made me. It's the same with gay men and women: this is how God made them. God doesn't make junk, so they should be given the same rights as the rest of us that God made.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • indorri

      Gay relationships are a "lifestyle" in the same sense that straight ones are.

      Now, imagine that said same Muslim attempted to deny you the freedom to eat pork. That is what Cathy and Chik-Fil-A have done. They have donated to campaigns and organizations that fought marriage equality. They sought to enforce their beliefs on us, not us on them. No one is trying to force you or Cathy to accept our "lifestyles" (read: relationships the same as everyone else's). That is a blatant strawman designed to paint those criticizing Cathy as bullies, and is deceitful.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      I love how some people are saying "how can speaking the truth be bigoted?". What truth? Your truth that your church taught you that is being less and less accepted? If that's the case, I heard the boogey man approves of gay marriage, and I'd believe his existence any day over christianities version of god. So because the boogey man says it's true, then am I speaking "truth" by repeating it? Sooooo subjective.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rosie

    Oh my, I already cannot buy from them on Sunday so I am in no way surprised that they are anti-gay marriage. It is about the food, people. If the food is good who gives a crap about their politics. I do not go to church or believe in a supreme being but I love the sandwiches at the Chick!

    July 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Albeebee

    We all can say whatever we want, and have whatever opinion we want. But when an opinion / believe is about riding other of basic human rights, that's no longer an opinion. It's is persecution, and one must stand up to it.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Daddy Rabbit

    Well, I think this is a private company and they can do what they want. Generally, however, this is not a good idea. With that said, their food is almost unque and they have a huge fan base. Some will stay away, but given that most of their outlets are in the south, business just might increase.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. psg

    In the days immediately following the Iran crisis in the late 70s, 4 Iranian students in my high school were beat up for no other reason than they were Iranian and therefore by association, kidnappers and murderers.

    How is it that Dan Cathy is only saying what is true? Since when is he chatting with god about what he is going to do if gay people can get married. To me, it appears to be that god hates everyone he hates.

    When Christians blame the LGBT community for any and all matter of unrelated problems, we become the targets of violence. Historically, we have been brutally beaten and “he came on to me,” was all that was necessary to acquit. Here we are today, still hated by so many for no other reason than whom we love. It’s the words that precipitate the violence.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John D

    I have not patronized Chick Fillet much. Starting now I will go out of my way to buy their products.
    Kudos to you Chick Fillet!!!!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Meagan

    This makes me very sad (not that a company is supporting their views, but that I can no longer support a company with such nummy waffle fries and sandwiches). If it were just an opinion it would be fine; people have a right to their opinions. However, my money can't be used for political views I don't support, and that is what is happening here.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LMR

    I will continue frequenting Chick-Fil-A regardless.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. taxpayer bob

    a "social storm" because someone has an opinion? Our leftist culture is out-of-control close-minded. So much anger

    July 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Johhny G

    I love honesty. I will take my family their tonight. By the way man and women family.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Haha

      Pretty sure you wouldn't be welcome there either. Oh and see how I spelled it? "There", not "their". That's the correct way.

      And why wouldn't you be welcome? Because you said yourself you have a "man and women" family. Women. Plural. More than one. You're a downright disgusting individual, may you burn in righteous Holy fire.

      July 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim Phillips

    Is God a hate monger? The bible defines marriage between a man and a woman. I do not think that God hates those who believe the same. Just because I believe that does not mean I hate someone for believing differently.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clara

      You assume that everyone gives the same weight to the bible. They don't. The bible was written by man and that is all I need to know to push it aside.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pro-American Activist

      Hey Jim,

      Did God say that in order to serve fast food chicken (and be Christian) you have to obey by my rules?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dj

      exactly i agree...some ppl need to agree to disagree..because if someone really wants to do something theyre going to do it anyway.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snowyowl

      The Bible is a book, written and re-written many times by men and subject to their biases. You put your faith in a piece of paper. I put my faith in a God who loves everyone and treasures the love between any couple, straight or gay.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • huhb

      Good for you. But telling me I can't marry a man because it's against your religion is like saying I can't have a cookie because you're on a diet.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • OnlyOne

      As someone wise once said: You may be assured that YOU have created God in YOUR own image, when it turns out that God "hates" the same people you do.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      Jesus would defintely be a liberal...he was for the poor, the outcasts.and stood up against the rich

      July 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      You may not be motivated by hate. But a lot of so-called Christians - including many ministers and pastors, some videoed in sermon - are motivated by hate.

      And the issue is not hate, but love. You believe it is okay to deny other adults who love each other the right to marry. That does not make you a hater, but it does mean you want to deprive strangers of a joyous lifestyle (marriage) that you enjoy.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • senseless pillow fight

      Nope. But it doesn't say " gays can't eat my chicken" either. Get on point. This isn't about religion its about benefits in this world. If civil unions guaranteed the insurance marraige does you wouldn't care what the guy thought.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • India

      Millions upon millions of gay people have said throughout the ages that they were born gay and that they have been gay every since they can remember. Some as far back as 4th grade. Yet Christians refuse to believe them. Gays deserve all of the respect, love and pursuit of happiness that this country can give them.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      The Bible was actually written by thousands of men, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of books the Vatican refuses to ever release. This is based on fact. Not fairy tales. Just do a little bit of research. As if that isn't bad enough, practically all of the Bible's stories are plagiarized.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • CG

      Firstly, Christian marriage and legal marriage are two different things. What's required for Christians is not what's required for Americans. Secondly, where does the Bible ever define marriage as being between a man and a woman? It may mention marriages between men and woman, but it also has a very old fashioned way of talking about male and female roles in society. Society changes over time and marriage is a prime example of that.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
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